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Episode 2 of 5

The Old Hell

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station description Christopher Bardsley leads an engaging deep-dive into an eclectic collection of mis... read more
Historical Marginalia
Duration: 01:02:02
Norfolk Island, according to Captain James Cook, had everything a settlement could possibly need. In 1788, shortly after the first fleet arrived in New South Wales, an abortive attempt was made to establish a strategic outpost on this isolated speck in the Pacific void. Over the next four decades, N
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Norfolk Island, according to Captain James Cook, had everything a settlement could possibly need. In 1788, shortly after the first fleet arrived in New South Wales, an abortive attempt was made to establish a strategic outpost on this isolated speck in the Pacific void. Over the next four decades, Norfolk became a byword for brutality, impunity, and the worst excesses of the British empire. It was also the setting for bold experiments in reform and progress, and serves as a most suitable microcosm of an empire struggling to come to grips with the true nature of colonialism. In this episode, the efforts and legacy of the Island’s first three governors are examined in detail, and a surprisingly nuanced story of leadership under despairing circumstances emerges.
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